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The SEMA Road to the Battle of the Builders Continues

By Richard Hail

Builders with vehicles displayed at the SEMA Show are considered to be the industry’s elite, and while there may be just one winner of the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, every competitor has their own unique and inspiring story to tell. Many of those stories are told through the SEMA Battle of the Builders web series and TV special. Although these vehicles may have graced the cover of magazines and made their ways through social media, their stories remain yet to be told. Tune in to the webisodes below and mark your calendars to watch the one-hour television special on the HISTORY Channel on January 23 for some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with this year’s Battle of the Builders competitors.

Tim Moceri, ’82 Delorean DMC-12

Tim Moceri of Salvage 2 Savage debuted this iconic ’82 DeLorean DMC 12 at the 2021 SEMA Show. Power comes via the IMSA-inspired 5.3L, twin-turbo LS, which was moved to the back of the car and is easily viewed beneath the new polycarbonate louvres a la a Ferrari F40. The list of mods is plentiful, but they include a custom wide-body kit, hand-crafted interior, and a set of three-piece wheels by SKÖL Wheels that are wrapped around Toyo Proxes R888RTM tires.

Greg Friedrich, ’60 Plymouth Fury Wagon

This ’60 Fury is powered by a 528ci Gen 2 Hemi that’s aided underhood by performance components from AEM, Holley and Weiand. Behind the transmission, a Gear Vendor Overdrive helps send power to a Winters quick-change rearend. The Race Tech suspension incorporates Afco Shocks and FL bearings and rod ends, and a set of Mickey Thompson tires is wrapped around a set of 20x9 and 20x12 Forgeline CR3 wheels with titanium centers and polished outers; Brembo brakes bring the Plymouth to a stop. Among the many exterior mods are a set of Eddie Motorsports hood hinges and custom paint from House of Kolor.

Marcus Fry, ’72 Datsun 240z

This year, Marcus Fry created a widebody IMSA-spec regulation vehicle out of a 1972 Datsun 240z for the 2021 SEMA Show. The engine system features an original L-series engine bolted up to a T5 tranny from a 280zx. The naturally aspirated L28 was stroked to 3.1L and utilizes a trio of 50mm Mikuni/Solex side draft carburetors. A Pyrotect fuel cell combined with an external low-pressure pump and scavenge tank are paired to an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator for optimal fuel delivery. The modified suspension includes billet components from Arizona Z Cars and a five-lug conversion kit from Wilwood. Maximum grip on the track is supplied by the Toyo Proxes R888R tires which are wrapped around a set of WORK Wheels.

Dominic Olson, ’37 Ford Coupe

This ’37 frame-off restoration commenced when its builder was 15. Under the molded and finished hood is a 350 Chevy V8 that’s mated to a TH350 transmission that’s been metal-finished with all castings primed and painted. A custom-made battery box and throttle linkage can also be spotted inside the cleaned-up engine bay. Power flows to a Ford 8.8-in. rearend, while a Mustang II IFS front end provides a supple ride. Many custom touches can be found on the Ford, including the battery box, fender cutouts, throttle linkage and air cleaner.

Neil Tjin, ’21 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Neil Tjin is no stranger to SEMA builds. His Mustang Mach-E features numerous custom touches, starting with the Porsche Signal Yellow Orange paint and the custom front splitter, side skirts, rear valance and color-matched flares. The car rides on a one-off, fully adjustable Air Lift suspension and rolls on custom Vossen wheels and Falken tires. A custom Baer disc kit brings the electric motors to a stop. Inside, the Ford sports an all-white interior with RECARO seats and a KICKER audio system, and custom solar panels can be found on the rear window and roof.

For more information about the 2021 Battle of the Builders competition or the SEMA Young Guns program, visit, or visit SEMA’s YouTube channel. The four finalists of this years’ competition will be highlighted along with other featured builders in a new TV special “2021 SEMA: Battle of the Builders,” scheduled to premiere on the HISTORY Channel January 23, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. (EST).